There are more diet trends that come and go than you can count, and it seems like you hear about a new one every day. Everyone is always looking for a way to lose lots of weight fast. While that’s a nice idea, the truth is that all really healthy changes come slowly over time, with lots of hard work and willpower. The good news is that you can lose weight in a week, but it will only be a little, and you’ll have to keep it up week after week to see the results you’re looking for.
Losing Too Much Weight Can Be Unhealthy
It is possible to lose a lot of weight very quickly, of course. Our bodies need a certain number of calories each day to function properly. To lose weight, the main thing you need to do is eat fewer calories than you need, so your body is forced to burn excess energy stored as fat to make up the difference. Many people say that losing weight is 90% diet and 10% exercise. While that is a big generalization, it is basically true. Losing weight is, in most cases, a simple math problem. Eat fewer calories than your body burns, and you’ll lose weight.
The problem comes when you take this to an extreme and start losing too much weight. If you are burning way more calories than you are consuming, your body might start to burn lean tissue instead of fat. You’ll be losing weight, but not the weight you wanted to lose. By taking it slower, you’ll be sure to only burn fat, and you’ll be more likely to keep the weight off, because you lost it by developing long-term healthy habits.
There are lots of opinions on whether you should or should not count your calories. Some people think it is a valuable way to provide structure to your diet and keep you on track, while others believe that it is a waste of time. Whether you count them or not, you should try to have a goal of losing one or two pounds a week. There are lots of helpful tools online to assist you in figuring out how much to eat in order to accomplish that. A healthy amount of weight loss should not produce dramatic change, but slow, incremental change instead.
What You Eat Matters
When you’re trying to lose weight, what you eat is just as important as how much you eat. Some foods are detrimental to weight loss, while others will help out. The first step you’ll want to take is cutting back on sugars and starches. Foods that contain high amounts of refined carbohydrates or sugars, such as white breads and pastas or sugary desserts, cause a spike in insulin. Too much insulin can cause your body to store more of these calories as fat. That means eating less bread and potato chips, and getting rid of sugary drinks and snacks. Avoid sugar sweetened beverages such as soda or fruit juice, as they are empty calories full of sugar without any beneficial nutrients
Try replacing all the carbs and sugars in your diet with proteins, fruits, and veggies. Instead of pancakes in the morning, try scrambled eggs. Pass on the sub sandwich for lunch, and eat a chicken salad instead. Any time you are planning on eating something that you know isn’t really that good for you, find a replacement that is more nutritious. In many cases, you will actually end up with a tastier meal, too.
Eat Enough Protein
Many diets rightfully emphasize the importance of protein. Protein is an essential nutrient that gives you energy, helps you maintain and build muscle, and increases your metabolism. Make sure to include protein-rich foods like eggs, chicken, or fish in your diet to stay strong and lose weight. You can also buy protein powders that help supplement your protein intake, if you are not getting enough from other sources.
Another great benefit of protein is that it tends to fill you up and stop you from thinking about eating in between meals. Many of us have a bad habit of grazing throughout the day, which is to say we are constantly and absentmindedly snacking. Grazing can put you way over your calorie requirements for the day, and cause you to gain weight. Eating protein regularly should help you keep your mind off food and stop you from grazing.
If you don’t get enough protein, your body could go into a catabolic state. That means your body has begun resorting to breaking down muscle fibers to fuel itself. Eating lots of protein will ensure that your body stays in an anabolic state, and only breaks down fat for extra fuel.
Losing weight is a long and difficult process. It requires continued dedication to your goal over a long period of time, but it is worth it. If you’re not seeing the results you want right away, don’t lose hope. The same goes for making mistakes. If you trip up and eat some junk food, don’t beat yourself up. Just shake it off and get back to it. You have it in you to accomplish your weight loss goals.